By one year old a baby boy has already developed so rapidly; changing from a tiny, sleepy newborn into an almost-toddler with the personality to match! In the first year of life physical and cognitive development are more rapid than at any other time.
So, if you’re looking for a gift for a 1-year-old boy, that will continue to support his development, then this list of 26 ideas may be useful. We’ve included toys and gifts that will promote different kinds of development, and will appeal to different little boys’ interests and personalities so you’re sure to find something that will suit the little boy you’re buying for.
1. VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
The VTech KidiBeats Drum Set is a fun musical toy perfect for a 1-year-old’s budding interest in making music. It comes with three drum pads and a cymbal, each making unique sounds that promote sensory development at this age. Toddlers can play along to 9 different melodies in fun music styles and sing along to letters, numbers, and more.
With 4 modes like free play, follow-along, letters, and numbers, this drum set entertains for hours while building skills. LED lights on each drum pad add extra visual stimulation. Drumsticks are included so toddlers can rock out on the attached drums and cymbal, working on their motor coordination. The interactive lights, sounds, and textures engage 1-year-olds’ senses and curiosity while nurturing imagination, creativity, and learning.
2. Bobby Car
By 1 year of age most children are good at bearing weight on their legs, have the core strength to balance and are well in to the process of learning to walk. Ride on toys help to strengthen leg muscles further as children need to push along their own weight and the weight of the toy. They also need to learn to coordinate their body and limbs in order to do this, which helps with their overall physical development.
The Bobby Car is built to last, with a high weight limit of 110 lbs and built in knee recesses to accommodate older children, so this is a gift that will last well beyond age 1. It also has a small turning circle, so you won’t need much space to have fun with it.
3. Brio My First Railway
Train tracks are a classic children’s toy and often gifted to one-year-old boys for a good reason; train tracks offer plenty of different learning opportunities. They are also very open-ended, meaning that there is not just one way to play so children can put a track in their own way and experiment with their construction skills and imaginations.
Putting track together requires good fine motor skills and dexterity, and pushing trains along the track promotes physical skills and strengths like squatting, crawling or shuffling and balance. The Brio My First Railways connects with other types of wooden tracks so it can be used in different ways as children get older.
4. Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Baby Toy Game & Learn Controller
The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Game & Learn Controller looks just like a video game controller for mom and dad. But this is a controller made just for baby that will have them laughing and learning with lights, music, and phrases.
Babies as young as 6 months can press the easy-to-grasp shape buttons to hear songs, words, and sounds that stimulate their growing minds. There’s also a joystick and toggle switch to build motor skills. With two modes – Learning and Play – this toy grows with baby through developmental stages up to age 3.
5. Lego Duplo Classic Deluxe Brick Box
Duplo doesn’t seem to lose its appeal through the ages and is really built to last; many people with grown up children have a box of their child’s Duplo for when other children come to visit. Perhaps because of its open-ended nature, Duplo is a toy that doesn’t seem to ‘date’ easily and holds its appeal through different generations.
The Lego Duplo Classic Deluxe Brick Box is a set of 85 pieces which allows children to design and build their own constructions, though it comes with a few ideas and prompts too. At 1 year old most babies are interested in construction and are beginning to develop the strength and dexterity needed in their hands to use toys like Duplo.
6. Musical and Light-Up Robot
For a fun toy that’s also developmentally beneficial, choose this gift for the one-year-old boy you’re shopping for. This interactive robot by Hahaland has a lot of features that will no doubt serve up hours of entertainment. Not only does it light up and play music, but it also features movable arms and legs that make fun clicking sounds when they’re moved. The turnkey on the head of the robot will even move the robot’s eyes, an extra layer of fun to keep a young boy engaged.
Playing with this toy will develop sensory perception while stimulating the imagination. The buttons and moving limbs will also develop fine motor skills as he learns to move them on his own. This toy is made of BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic and has been designed with smooth edges for added safety. Keep in mind this toy does require batteries that are not included. Though once the batteries are in, the music and lights are sure to be a hit with the deserving little boy who gets this cool toy.
7. Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Bathtub
Children love to splash and play in water and at one-year-old it’s a great sensory learning experience for them too. By playing in water children gain confidence for swimming, practice skills like filling and emptying containers and developing an understanding of quantity.
The Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Bathtub is a child-sized inflatable bathtub which can be easily deflated and stored, making it ideal for travel as well as home use. It includes built-in safety features such as a grippy floor to prevent slips and a color-changing temperature indicator to let you know if the water is too hot.
8. Interactive Submarine Bathtub Toy
Turn bath time into playtime with this exciting bathtub toy. One-year-old boys don’t like to sit still, always playing and exploring. Now bath time can continue the fun with this submarine toy that suction cups to the side of the tub. Using the included yellow cup, balls and water can be dropped into the top of the tube. When the orange button is pushed the balls are ejected from the bottom.
This toy improves multiple important developmental skills. Hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills will improve as he learns to pour the water and balls into the tube. It also introduces him to the concept of cause and effect when he learns that pushing the button releases the balls. The brightly colored plastic it’s made of is free of toxins so there will be no concern about leaching of harmful chemicals into the bathwater. It’s just clean fun that will make bath time his favorite game of the day. This gift will make a splash!
9. Hape Country Critters Play Cube
By one year old most children are pulling themselves up on furniture to stand and this is a great skill to encourage as it helps them to develop strength and stability in their legs and core, which is important for learning to walk. The Hape Country Critters Play Cube maintains children’s interest with plenty of different moving parts.
The Hape Country Critters Play Cube also develops children’s fine motor skills by requiring them to use their hands and fingers to move and manipulate the moving parts. As it’s wooden with a non-toxic, child-friendly finish the Play Cube is also more likely to fit in to modern, minimalist décor.
10. Fisher-Prince Laugh & Learn Storybook Rhymes
1-year-olds generally enjoy books and stories, and any technology they can get hold of. The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Storybook Rhymes incorporates both of these elements to create an interactive storybook toy that will hold a child’s attention, and present them with a variety of different learning opportunities.
The pages of the Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Storybook are made of plastic so that little hands can turn them easily, practicing their fine-motor skills without risking paper cuts. There are also a number of buttons that light up and make sounds, and music, teaching counting, numbers, words letter and shapes. This will help to improve a 1-year-olds listening and attention skills as well as increasing their vocabulary.
11. Wooden Shaper Sorter Truck
Teach shapes and colors with this hands-on toy. One-year-old boys will love this shape sorter toy that is designed like a truck. Not only will it help familiarize toddlers with shapes, but it also provides other fun features that will keep playtime exciting.
The truck is designed to resemble a concrete mixing truck, complete with a rotating barrel on the back. The barrel features seven holes, each a different shape to match the included wooden blocks. Once all the shapes are loaded into the truck it can be tipped back on the hinges and emptied, just like a real truck. The front of the truck includes a flip-up windshield and a little wooden driver to sit in the front seat. This gift will help improve fine motor skills and encourage problem-solving and critical thinking. The blocks store inside the truck which is great for organization and an opportunity to teach about cleaning up when playtime is over.
12. VTech Smart Shots Sports Center
Building an interest in sports and physical activity early on, the Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center is a combination of a basketball hoop and a football goal, complete with toddler-sized equipment. As toddlers try to score goals and baskets they develop both their physical skills and their hand-eye coordination.
The Vtech Smart Shots Sports Center is great for playing with siblings and parents allowing 1-year-olds to develop basic social skills like playing alongside others and beginning to take turns and share.
13. Lego Duplo My First Alphabet Truck
With the alphabet features on these Duplo blocks, early exposure to letter shapes and discussion of their sounds will build children’s knowledge of speech and language sounds. At age one most children are interested in pushing and pulling vehicles, and constructing and building towers so the Lego Duplo My First Alphabet Truck makes a great gift for a 1-year-old as it combines Lego Duplo blocks, with a vehicle!
Pushing and pulling toys along and constructing with blocks both enhance children’s physical strength and skill. The blocks from this set can also be combined with any other Lego Duplo sets that the child already has or is given, making play more open-ended.
14. Melissa & Doug Mega Race-Car Carrier
Many 1-year-old boys enjoy playing with different kinds of vehicles and the Melissa & Doug Race- Car Carrier is a lovely wooden set, perfect for gifting to a little boy who enjoys different kinds of vehicles as it includes 6 different colored racing cars and a double layered car-transporter.
As children, push, pull and operate the cars and transporter they improve their physical strength and skills and this set also allows for the development of early imaginative play. Made from wood, the Melissa & Doug Mega Race-Car Carrier is a more eco-friendly alternative to plastic toys and is robust and built to last.
15. EverEarth Work Bench with Tools
The EverEarth Work Bench with Tools is a lovely, eco-friendly wooden toy that will encourage role-play as a builder or carpenter as the child pretends to make and fix different things. It also helps to improve fine motor skills with screws, nuts and bolts that can be used with tools and with hands. As children twist the screws into place they build up strength in their fingers and wrists, which, much further down the line, will improve their writing skills.
The EverEarth Work Bench with Tools is suitable for a range of ages as using the tools and accessories is fairly challenging.
16. Selonis Soft Ball Pit Pool
1-year-olds love ball pits! They will have hours of fun, jumping, climbing and burying themselves in the pool, and this all promotes the development of their physical skills and strength.
The Selonis Soft Ball Pit Pool is different to the usual brightly-colored, pop-up versions of at-home ball-pits available; its soft fabric sides are safe for small children whilst also being sturdy enough to stand up to the rigors of being climbed and jumped all over. The Ball pit and balls are also tastefully colored to fit in with modern home décor. The covers are removable and washable too meaning that it’s pretty easy to keep the Ball Pit Pool clean.
17. Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox is an ideal piece of outdoor play equipment for 1-year-olds. It is perfectly sized to offer a large enough area for lots of sand play which is a wonderful sensory experience for babies and toddlers who learn predominantly through their senses. There are built in seating areas so that the child doesn’t have to sit in the sand itself, though of course they can if they want to!
The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox is also very safe as it comes with a built-in lid to cover the sand keeping it dry and free from contamination. It also means that sand tools like buckets, spades, rakes and jugs can be stored in the sandpit itself so that they’re ready to use straight away. Filling and emptying containers is a popular type of play for 1-year-olds and this lays down the foundations for early mathematical concepts.
18. Step2 Whisper Ride II Ride-On Push Car
An alternative to getting around in a stroller or carrier, the Step2 Whisper Ride II Ride-On Push Car, is a ride on toy that a parent can push along meaning that it’s still very useful for transportation as well as play! As the child is pushed along, they will increase their balance and core strength as they sit in the seat, and can experiment with technology and cause and effect as they press the horn.
The Step2 Whisper Ride-On Push car features a handle which can be safely folded away making storage much easier, cup holders for baby and parent, a safety strap for the child and smooth, quiet wheels to make strolls around the neighborhood more pleasant.
19. Aquadoodle Classic Large Water Doodle Mat
The Aquadoodle Classic Large Water Doodle Mat is the ideal gift for a 1-year-old boy because it provides mess-free sensory play. Sensory play is very important for young children as they learn best through hands-on experience, however, sensory play can also get very messy, so a lot of parents are reluctant to provide such experiences at home. The Aquadoodle solves this problem, needing only a little water to be put into the pen for hours of drawing fun.
Drawing activates children’s creativity as they explore mark-making, and it also improves their gross motor skills and understanding of cause and effect, all important for writing later down the line. The Aquadoodle can easily be folded for storage too, making it a great gift for any 1-year-old.
20. Hape Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
Making music is a favorite pastime of many children and 1-year-olds in particular certainly love to experiment with making a noise. The Hape Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone is a beautiful wooden toy that can be played with in a variety of ways. Children can improve their motor skills by using the hammer to hit the balls, which then fall onto the xylophone, causing the notes to play. This is a novel way to explore cause and effect.
The Hape’s Pound and Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone can also have the Xylophone removed so that it can be played separately, promoting listening skills, musical experimentation and creativity
21. Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy
The Fisher-Price Smart Stages Puppy is a cute, cuddly puppy toy with plenty of interactive buttons. The hands, feet, ears and heart can all be pressed to achieve different effects which will increase children’s understanding of cause, effect and technology.
Educational opportunities are also plentiful as the Smart Stages Puppy teaches words, colors, letter and numbers at the press of its buttons. This also promotes listening and attention skills and speech and language development, and can be tailored to the child’s age and developmental stage. The Smart Stages Puppy has 3 different ‘levels’ of learning that can be selected. This level system means that the Smart Stages Puppy is a toy that will last a 1-year-old boy a good number of years.
22. Green Toys Dump Truck
Green Toys are synonymous with quality, their toys are favored by nurseries and daycares because they are robust, sturdy and completely non-toxic. Made with recycled plastic they represent an eco-friendlier solution to traditional plastic toys, and contain no BPA, PVC, phthalates or external coatings.
The Green Toys Dump Truck allows children to experiment with and improve their skill at pushing, pulling and directing objects along the floor. Children are also able to fill and empty the dumper as they engage in imaginative play; improving their physical skills and dexterity as they do so.
23. Brio Pull-along Bumblebee
Pull-along toys are a great choice for a 1-year-old-boy. Around about age 1 children are beginning to really push the boundaries with their physical skills as they master crawling, cruising and soon-enough, walking. Having a toy that can be taken along with them holds lots of appeal for a 1-year-old, enticing and encouraging them to use physical movement skills more.
The Brio Pull-along bumblebee is a lovely wooden toy which creates a buzzing sound as it moves along with no batteries required. This develops children’s understanding of cause and effect as they learn that when they pull the toy, they hear the noise.
24. VTech Turn & Learn Driver
1-year-old boys often love both vehicles and technology, making this the ideal gift as it combines the two! The Vtech Turn & Learn Driver is a steering wheel toy with plenty of interactive features and buttons to maintain a child’s interest and develop their understanding of cause, effect and technology.
The Vtech Turn & Learn Driver features plenty of lights, sounds and music to maintain children’s curiosity and develop their speech and language as they imitate the words and sounds heard. There are plenty of learning opportunities too as pressing the buttons helps to teach animal and vehicle names and sounds.
25. Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker Toddler Toy
The Melissa & Doug Geometric Stacker Toddler Toy is a beautiful, wooden toy that is made from child safe materials and is built to last. Many 1-year-olds learn through repeating behavior to solidify their understanding of concepts, this is called a schema and stacking is a popular schema with 1-year-olds which would be supported by this toy.
The brightly-colored pieces can be stacked together in order, increasing children’s perseverance and helping them to gain understanding and recognition of shape, size and color. As they play, 1-year-old will also gain hand-eye coordination and improve their motor skills.
26. Battat Pop-up Pals
The Battat Pop-Up Pals is a toy with 4 different animal jack-in-the-boxes which are controlled with different switches. This requires 1-year-olds to press, twist and manipulate the switches in order to get the animal friends to pop up. Using their hands and fingers in this way not only increases their understanding of cause and effect but also strengthens and improves the flexibility in the fingers, hands and wrists, thereby improving fine motor skills.
With no batteries required this is a toy that will last and last, it also gives children the opportunity to learn different animals, shapes, colors and numbers and build their vocabulary related to this.
1-year-old boys love to receive gifts and explore different play opportunities. Their natural energy, curiosity and interest means that they are keen to interact with the world around them and try out all sorts of different play. This natural disposition is great for their development because it means that 1-year-old boys often seek out new experiences and are willing to just ‘have a go’.
The toys and gifts presented in this list are varied enough to give you a real range of options to choose from, but all have great benefits to children’s learning so whichever you select to give to the 1-year-old boy that you’re thinking of it should be well received by both child and parents!